2018 Toyota Yaris iA Review

Yaris iA

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2018 Toyota Yaris iA Overview

When Toyota shuttered the Scion brand at the end of the 2016 model year, the future of many models were left hanging in the balance. Would they be going up to the great parking lot in the sky, or would they become Toyota? The majority of Scion’s lineup transitioned to Toyota. A prime example is the subcompact Yaris iA. Only on sale for a year as a Scion, moved over to the Yaris lineup in 2017, and gave buyers the choice of hatchback or sedan.

Toyota borrows design elements from partner automaker Mazda for the Yaris iA. The flowing lines, sculpting on the doors, and short rear end are all trademarks of the Mazda3 and 6 sedans. Toyota modified the front end, by giving the Yaris iA a larger lower grille and swapping the badges. The front is a determining factor for most choosing the iA. To some, the large grille adds an aggressive touch and helps the Yaris iA stand out.

More of Mazda’s DNA can be found in the Yaris iA’s interior. The layout is similar to the Mazda CX-3 crossover; Material quality is better than what’s on offer in the Yaris hatchback including more soft-touch materials and firmer-feeling hard plastics. Controls have a solid feel and are within easy reach for the driver and passenger.

The front seats offer basic adjustments and provide decent support for long trips. The lack of a center armrest may cause discomfort, but one is available as a dealer-installed accessory. Rear head and legroom is limited, but trunk space is above average for subcompact sedans with 13.49 cubic feet on offer. The Yaris iA comes standard with 60/40 split folding rear seats.

A 7-inch touchscreen with a control knob comes standard on the Yaris iA. The touchscreen features a redressed version of Mazda Connect infotainment system. Reviewers like Mazda Connect as it provides impressive graphics and intuitive controls. The interface will take some time to understand its various idiosyncrasies but quickly becomes second nature. Reviewers are critical of the touchscreen itself. It is difficult to tell which parts of the interface are touchscreen-enabled, so it becomes a case of trial and error. Most say that buyers are better off using the control knob.

While the engine cover may have a Toyota logo, the 1.5-liter 4-cylinder powering the Yaris iA comes from Mazda. Power figures for the engine stand at 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. Transmissions include a 6-speed manual or automatic. The lively engine provides adequate power for city, but low power figures mean the Yaris iA is slower to get up to speed, impacting merging and passing.Reviewers love the manual transmission; it offers smooth gear changes and an easy to modulate clutch pedal. Most buyers will drift towards the automatic which is excellent in its own right with smooth and rapid shifting. EPA fuel economy figures for the Yaris iA stand at 30 city mpg, 39 highway, and 34 combined for the manual and 32, 40, and 35 for the automatic. The
Yaris iA exudes what’s missing from the standard Yaris—driving fun. Along a twisty road, the Yaris iA shows a surprising amount of athleticism with sharp responses from the steering and minimal body roll. The ride is compliant with a few bumps making their way inside. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels.

In terms of safety, the Yaris iA comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, a full set of airbags, and a low-speed pre-collision system that can automatically apply the brakes if the driver doesn’t respond. The Yaris iA misses out on the Toyota Safety Sense C (TSS-C) suite of active safety equipment that includes lane departure warning and automatic high beams. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the only group to the crash test the Yaris iA where it earned a 5-star overall rating.

The 2018 Toyota Yaris iA starts at $15,950, only $315 more than the Yaris hatchback.

Updated

Ask William Maley how he started as an automotive writer and he would say he just fell into it. Based in Michigan, William has driven vehicles of all sizes and shapes. His work has appeared on Autobytel, CARFAX, Cheers & Gears, and U.S. News Best Cars.

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Will There Be A CD Player Option On The 2018 Toyota Yaris IA?

I'm an old goat that doesn't change with the times, and I definitely need a CD player in any car I purchase. If the Yaris iA doesn't have a CD player option, I'll need to figure out a way to add a ...